Heat (29-30) vs. Magic (39-20)
Time/TV: 7 p.m./Sun Sports, ESPN
Key Matchup: Michael Beasley (18.5 PPG, 10.0 RPG vs. Magic this season) vs. Rashard Lewis (9.0 PPG, 6-24 FG, 3-11 3FG)
Season Series: Lost 99-98 on Nov. 25 in Orlando; Lost 106-84 on Dec. 17 in Miami; Tonight in Orlando; March 18 in Miami
-UPDATE Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports Dwyane Wade will be active for tonight’s game.
-Orlando and Miami might be on a collision course for the team’s first playoff meeting in 13 years.
-Mike Bianchi of The Orlando Sentinel imagines the outrage that could be caused if the NBA does not play in 2012 and the Amway Center sits empty.
-Patrick (Ch)Ewing is not quite as recognizable as he used to be.
-It was Burnie’s birthday in Miami last night, but the Heat failed to show up against the Bucks and got booed for the poor effort.
-Michael Wallace of the Miami Herald writes Michael Beasley has played much better in his sophomore campaign, but he has struggled since becoming the team’s top scoring option with Dwyane Wade out with an injury.
-Dave Hyde of The South Florida Sun-Sentinel is not quite as optimistic. He writes Michael Beasley looked defeated and his struggles with Dwyane Wade out have exposed the weaknesses of Miami’s roster.
-Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel points out that Miami’s home loss to Milwaukee last night was continuing a pattern of puzzling play at American Airlines Arena.
-Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel weighs Dwyane Wade’s options between his hometown Bulls and the Heat with Chris Bosh.
-Andrew Melnick of Howard The Dunk writes in his game preview that both the Magic and the Heat are trying to bounce back from embarrassing losses.
-Orlando spent some extra time in shootaround this morning preparing for Miami with Dwyane Wade and Miami without Dwyane Wade. Better to be prepared. And nobody prepares like Stan Van Gundy.
-Dan Stein of Hot Hot Hoops makes a semantical argument (Magic and Heat are both collective nouns and take plural verbs… that is at least the style I have always used) and recognizes Miami will need a lot of help to eke out a win tonight if Dwyane Wade does not play.
-DolPhanDave of the Peninsula is Mightier is looking for answers after the Heat failed to come out with energy on their home floor last night against the Bucks.
-John Denton of OrlandoMagic.com writes the Magic are looking for a more consistent effort when they take big leads.
John Hollinger of ESPN Insider writes there is a lot on the line for the four teams fighting for the East’s final playoff spot.
-Bryan Toporek of Bleacher/Report writes Orlando will not need to depend on any of the new faces to get back to the Finals, but rather Dwight Howard will have to carry the Magic to the end.
-Israel Gutierrez of the Miami Herald is feeling deja vu with Michael Beasley as he continues to struggle with Dwyane Wade out of the lineup.
-Ben Q Rock of Orlando Pinstriped Post analyzes the futility of Orlando’s final 34 possessions during Friday’s loss.
-Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel is asked about the terrible No. 2 picks made in the last few years… including Michael Beasley.
-Heat owner Mickey Arison is fairly confident Dwyane Wade will be returning to the Heat.
-Frank Madden of Brew Hoop talks about how Milwaukee did the little things to defeat Miami last night on the road.